Exegesis Volume 4 Issue #94

From: Patrice Guinard
Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V4 #89 (Dennis) and #91 (Bill)

From: Janice & Dennis
Subject: prime mover, feng shui, & fate

From: "William D. Tallman"
Subject: Items of interest

Exegesis Digest Fri, 03 Dec 1999

Date: Thu, 02 Dec 1999 01:26:12 +0100
From: Patrice Guinard
To: Exegesis
Subject: Re: Exegesis Digest V4 #89 (Dennis) and #91 (Bill)

Dennis #89 : "Most horoscopes in use depict human births, but many do not. The term `psychic-astral' links states of the psyche with states of the stars, leaving mundane circumstances out of the equation. Patrice seems to have implicitly rejected the most ancient element of the astrological tradition. Horoscopes have always been used to divine events, which is why they are diagrams of the holistic relations of the event to the cosmos."

I've already said that the understanding of collective and cultural level is the most interesting in astrology (collective does't mean only "mundane astrology"), and that the "horoscopic-consultation" is an little application of astrology among many others, a "small private affair". But, Dennis, do you really know Babylonian or Assyrian horoscopes for a country ? Apart of this, a collective "impress" is so, because it is first a simultaneous individual "impress" on everybody.

"I wonder if Patrick Curry really did invent this word "practicians"."

Not him, nor even me : at the Renaissance, you had the distinction between the ASTROLOGER, the "PRACTICIAN" or the PRACTITIONER (who is, related to astrology, like a doctor related to science, who applies the techniques, but if they change, he has to change his practice), and the "ASTROPHILE" (the sympathizer).

"Patrice then goes on to explain his concept of impressionals in detail, and their similarity to the astrological archetypes is evident. I see no reason not to presume these are equivalent."

The Jungian archetypes, yes, but only without contents, in the real sense that he has given on several occasions, but that he didn't really always apply, and particularly that the astrologers (the practinioners) never apply. But see how the Jungian thought is contradictory and for me not always reliable. Jung was a great modern specialist of hermeneutics, i.e. of signs' interpretation. All interested him, specially ancient, secrete, occult... signs. But the signs belong to interpretation, not to understanding. They need MATERIAL, and hermeneutics IS these analysis made from this material. Astrology has not got such material (and don't tell me that the astrological literature is this material, because the purpose of astrology is not the astrological literature). For instance linguists have words, grammars ; historians have many documents... and the purpose of linguistics is really the words, the language. But the purpose of astrology is the "impressionals" inside of us. (Not "as above, as below", but AS INSIDE, AS OUTSIDE, and even AS INSIDE, AS INSIDE, for feeling like Paracelsus). Because astrological Understanding is definitely other thing than cultural sciences' INTERPRETATION. (To Understand is TO SEE : yes Carlos !, Dennis). If it were not, and if I was wrong with Paracelsus (with Paracelsus like I "understand" him), well OK : Why astrology does't lie in the public forum and in universities, like for instance psychoanalysis (without any scientific demonstration of its validity, Bill) ?

To return to impressionals, I have still 50 pages on them and on this prodigious philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce (May I recommand also a book here : the "Collected papers", the main philosophical "book", never written in American philosophy - my "opinion"). So, Dennis, be patient. The Jungian concepts are for astrology of none utility : for my "impressionals", see rather the "small perceptions" of Leibniz.

"Saying that the "astral has no influence on the physical" seems either a blunder or an explicit signal from Patrice that he does not recognise that archetypal qualities of time emerge in nature."

The "astral influences" on the physical nature (tides and all that you want) are not astrology : BUT PHYSICS !

"Ah, finally we seem to get there, to the number archetypes at least. But wait, what are 8 and 10 doing here? Can you justify these interlopers, Patrice? If so, I'd like to see it."

8 houses in the old Greek idea, 10 planets in the modern one (up to Pluto-Charon).

Bill #91 : "The idea is that when all the extant material on astrology is available (Medieval astrology, Hindu astrology, Hebrew astrology, etc., etc., are all awaiting complete translation and submission to the above processes), we will have done due diligence to create as complete an array of primary material as is historically possible, and we can submit it to rigorous testing as it is intended that Hellenistic astrology is to be. With the primary material available, and adequate rigorous testing thereof, astrological scholarship will finally have enough of a research basis to be really productive."

When all the extant astrological material will be available, Bill, (but it is yet, more or less in the public libraries !), few "astrologers" will read it, and even less will understand anything : they just will use some "technics" in their "horoscopic-consultations".
The others will discover, not WHAT IS ASTROLOGY but the REASONS of the past models of astrology and also of their errors. Yes, the study of ancient astrology is one of the best manner to advance, but we will have to do all the work by ourselves, because we are not the Greeks, nor the Assyrians - and it's why we are talking here, no ?

Patrice Guinard Ph.D.


Date: Thu, 2 Dec 1999 11:01:33 +1300
From: Janice & Dennis
To: Exegesis
Subject: prime mover, feng shui, & fate

Here's some good news from a newsgroup.. "Hamlet's Mill is again in print, in a trade paperback size. It's roughly $20.00. It has an ISBN number now and it should be possible to order it through any good bookstore. The thesis of _Hamlet's Mill_ is that there are very ancient myths describing the precession of the equinoxes." This oft-quoted book had been out of print about 30 years.

Finally got around to tracking it down a couple of years ago, via library interloan. I was disappointed at the lack of detail, but in retrospect I'll allow that must have been inevitable. All we have from the Indo-European tribes are residual myths. However circumstantial, though, it is still the only cultural inheritance from before the Vedic period that I'm aware of. Shakespeare reworked an ancient myth into Hamlet. The mill, grinding out the days, is the prime mover. Remember that astrologers tend to ignore the polar axis because it is now embedded in the horoscope, very much tacit. In prehistoric times god was clearly in the center of heaven, about which all the stars turned. They revolve around him because he makes them do so, as the world turns.. Thus the navel, axis mundi, and later the prime mover driving Ptolemy's 8 rotating spheres.

There's a Feng Shui FAQ at http://www.qi-whiz.com/ which explains.. "What Is the Relationship Between Feng Shui and Astrology? Later schools of Feng Shui incorporate astrological conventions and fate calculation conventions into the basic concept of Feng Shui. To the extent that both can be founded on five element theory there is a definite relationship. But developed Feng Shui is much "larger" in the sense that it can incorporate heaven, earth, man and fate into one cohesive whole."

Cosmos is that cohesive whole, actually, so the writer is suggesting that Feng Shui as a belief system models the cosmos so as to specifically integrate the four mentioned components. Feng Shui is analogous to astrology in this respect.

It is misleading to speak of Chinese astrology, since there are several major historical strands that are relatively independent of each other. Most books on it are written to make money rather than tell the truth. The most obvious comment to make is that "five element theory" clearly is incompatible with the western tradition of four elements.

Perhaps it is not necessarily so. One would have to be rather adept with metaphysical concepts to do it, but maybe a correspondence could be argued. I have yet to see anyone assay this. Reflecting on my reaction to what Patrice wrote (and didn't write) about the center, I suspect correlating the number 5 archetype with the center is worth a try. Merely as a basis for metaphysical speculation of course. Just as a mathematician or physicist puts the origin of the axes at zero, we orient ourselves to the world in relation to horizon and meridian, so if the world has a quaternal structure in relation to our consciousness, perhaps we are ourselves essentially quintic. Think it was the hermeticists that made 5 the number of man, wasn't it?

That quote above suggests further numerical deconstruction. Heaven/earth is a polarity made trinity by human mediation; in our minds it produces a triadic spatial structure. Likewise the polarity fate/freewill is a polarity made trinity by our mediation; in our psyche we orient ourselves to past and future both, and make choices in the now that plan ahead on the basis of memory as well as intention. Thus our psyche has a triadic temporal dimension of past/present/future. What if on some higher level of the psyche, a spatio-temporal integration occurs? Memory, being, becoming, above, below. A possible quintic synthesis. More meaningful if you call above Cosmos and below Gaia, of course. More fundamental a quintic synthesis would be achieved by replacing Gaia with you or me, the subject.

Someone contributed this quote of Jung to alt-psychology.jung, from CW 8, para 870-71: "Hence it is not such an audacious conclusion after all if we define number psychologically as an 'archetype of order' which has become conscious . . . I incline to the view that numbers were as much found as invented, and that in consequence they possess a relative autonomy analogous to that of the archetypes. . . . Accordingly it would seem that natural numbers have an archetypal character."

She then commented that he "also writes about number as archetype in vol. 10 and several other volumes." CW means Collected Works. Patrice has followed Jung and Rudhyar in making the tetradic or quaternary archetype pre-eminent in the structure of the psyche. I'm inclined to agree, without wanting to correlate horizon & meridian with Jung's four sensory functions as Rudhyar did.

The question of fate is ever-fertile for the student astrologer. Too bad that events, from which wisdom could be extracted to validate astrology, get too quickly dismissed. Consider this posted to a.a.m a few months ago...

"I will relay a story to you that happened about 5 or 6 years ago. I had a friend that wanted me to go out. That night I had Mars in my 9th (Gemini)squaring my Sun/Pluto conj. in the 11th. I told her I didn't want to go out because I wasn't in the mood to get pulled over. She said I was a ninny with my astrology rubbish and to stop living my life by the planets... well come 4am we're on our way home..and a police car comes up behind us. I still remember I was in the left lane.. I started to wince and snorted at her and moved into the right lane to get away from him...well duhhhhh he pulled me over for not signaling when I went to get out of his way LOL! Then it turns out my license was suspended because of old parking tickets from the city, what a nightmare. So I end up being handcuffed and taken in! My friend now studies astrology faithfully! (and she paid my legal fees too!!) And no I don't go out at night when Mars is doing that rubbish every 2 years outa the 9th house...hahaha".

On the most superficial level, this account instructs us as to why people tend to retain a belief in astrology. It is because real life events tend to validate the belief. Dale would say that astrologers will always find some apparently plausible explanation, as the woman telling the story had done, and he is right. She hangs it on the most obvious hook, transiting Mars.

She has not gone deeper, to document the manifestation of fate. She has made no attempt whatsoever to provide context, that would enable a more powerful comprehensive analysis of the synchronicity by means of listing the relevant astrological archetypes. The anecdote was just tossed into the general melee of light communal discourse.

Archetypal analysis would focus first on the obvious boundary issues that precipitated the event: initially Saturn, in the appearance on the scene of the agent of the state (authority figure, personification of Yahweh, keeper of law and order). Then Saturn again, with the lane change, crossing a boundary. Then Saturn again, the lord of karma, imposing long term consequences of prior unpaid tickets, which brings in the 12th house. Permission to drive the vehicle (Mars) comes from the license, suspended, so mobility is immediately blocked (Saturn). Then she is physically shackled with metal handcuffs, the most blatant manifestation of Saturn. One need hardly mention the coldness of the metal on the skin, or the restriction of movement. A cascade of limits in one event! Her choice, therefore, to not mention Saturn is most revealing; astrologers are most averse to reality.

Mercury, in an event chart, is the message of the event. But she doesn't want to learn about that either, it seems. Despite the fact that her Mars precipitated the event by acting rather than signalling. The failure to send the lane-change signal is a failure of the Mercury function. She got the Mars connection right, and the 11th house connection: this is evidenced most obviously in the group of 3 involved in the incident, secondarily in the outcome for the friend (presuming theirs an 11th house rather than 7th house relationship), and thirdly in the social evening as context (wider society being the background meaning of the 11th).

My main point, therefore, is that astrologers must start to learn from real life if they want to discover how astrology really works. My understanding is that this is essentially the empirical approach to learning. Correct me if I'm wrong, I have been reluctant to get into that most sterile of subjects, the history of philosophy.

The positive point of the above story is well made by the story-teller: the sceptical friend became an astrologer due to the encounter with fate. Note that the astrologer herself only tacitly recognises the fate element in the story. Note that the prediction made that set the situation up was merely a tacit prediction. All the more powerful thereby, in my opinion! Women are more sensitive to the psychic undercurrents of situations than men.

Dennis Frank


Date: Wed, 1 Dec 1999 17:43:31 -0800
From: "William D. Tallman"
To: Exegesis
Subject: Items of interest

Yesterday I had occasion to visit the new site of our local metaphysical book store, which has prospered sufficiently to warrant a new building of its own; scenic Port Townsend on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington state is a regional tourist venue, which serves to support the local popular disposition to such things. A brand new store, where the atmosphere was already intensely NewAge, and where a subtle battle between the aroma of new construction was being defeated by that of appropriate incense.

Whilst there, I purchased the latest copy of The Mountain Astrologer; one should never visit a brand new store without making a purchase: bad kharma is sure to follow such an egregious lack of support < grin > .

It was a fortuitous purchase! In that issue is an article by a member of this list, Candy Hillenbrand. She writes on a subject which is of special interest to her: Chiron. It is very much worth reading, I think. She has a fine feel for modern interests and views that involve or are adjunct to astrology. While I have rather narrowly pursued insights and discussions of astrology as a discipline in its own right, independent of applications, it must be recognized that the current astrological experience has a broader general relevance. In this regard, I suspect Candy may become, through her articles and publication, an ongoing source of valuable insights and understanding. I recommend her work highly.

Also in that issue was an article by the director of Project Hindsight, which I have touted here as filling a primary need in our search for a commonly accepted understanding of astrology. Robert Schmidt (one of the noted "Three Robs", the others being Hand and Zoller) has developed what may well be one of the first modern renditions of a complete ancient astrological gestalt: he terms it "Hellenistic Astrology". In this article, he presents his understanding of the Hellenistic view of astrological Houses.

He makes the case that our modern astrological tradition is the descendent of Hellenistic astrology via a Medieval reconstruction that lacked the necessary understanding to retain the theoretical and philosophical essence of the Greek traditions. Accordingly, our tradition is a corruption of that of Hellenistic Astrology, it appears, and it is instructive to discover the differences between the two. It would seem obvious that these two forms invite reconciliation, specifically in regard to the differences but generally in regard to the underlying philosophies. I expect this to go forth in a timely manner.

In his discussion of the Houses, he makes the point that Hellenistic astrology did not view the Houses as being in correspondence with the Signs, such that the seasons of the year did not correspond to the quadrants demarcated by the Angles. In fact, he asserts that a different organization was used regarding the Houses, where the Angular Houses were seen as the center to which the others were associated on either side.

In a recent post, I put forth this notion as an alternative to the modern view, and my source was a recollection of having run across this older form in my reading at some point a number of years ago. Understandably, my memory did not serve me well regarding a comprehension of the theoretical base of this way of organizing the Houses, and so I suggest my thoughts on that aspect be disregarded. Nevertheless, the form itself now appears to have a solid foundation for serious consideration, having root in the Greek practice from whence (apparently) nearly all modern astrological tradition has been developed.

In general, it is commonly held that western thought descends from that of the Hellenic and Hellenistic Greeks. Accordingly, a comparison of the ancient Greek and modern western understandings of ourselves and our universe is regarded as a source of real insight into why we see things as we do; it provides a context within which we can more fully comprehend modern times. These are traditional academic views, as exemplified by the long establish British practice of reading the earlier works in their own languages, Greek and Latin; history is a necessary context for truly understanding the present, and those who don't grasp the value of history are condemned to repeat it.

I suggest that astrology, in the ongoing contention between modern and ancient usages, can provide an excellent opportunity to actively engage these ideas. Specifically, I would like to see some discussion of these matters on this list, I think. Anyone interested?



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